Karen's Story

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Breast Implants and Breast Augmentation Stories from our Visitors

If you have already read Nicole's Story, you have a pretty good idea what this section of the website is all about. After several women emailed their breast augmentation stories to us, we thought it would be great to have women share their full-length recovery stories after their breast implant surgeries for everyone's benefit. Thankfully, many women have contributed, some in more detail than others.

Here are the stories of our visitors. Many names have been changed for privacy. Where appropriate, there is detail in parentheses so you can decide if you are interested. Click on a name to read.

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Karen's Story

I was reading some of the personal stories posted on your web site and did not see any like mine. I'd love to share my experience with you. I am a 37 year old divorced mother of 2. I breastfed both of my children and have had many weight fluctuations over my lifetime. The end result was empty, moderately sagging breasts. When my now husband and I became engaged, I became more interested in improving my appearance. I looked into plastic surgery for about a year, consulting 3 surgeons. I live in California and surgery is quite expensive here. I know several women who went to Utah for augmentation and were happy with the results. I then began exploring Utah's plastic surgeons. I called many and narrowed it down to a few based on how helpful their office staffs were. Being an R.N., I knew how to find out who was really the best. I called the O.R.s at the hospitals where they practiced and talked to the nurses. One of the PS was unanimously recommended. Everyone loved him. He had done their aug. or someone they knew. He was the one. I had done my homework and felt good about my choice.

I sent photos and spoke frequently to Dr. Barnett's office staff, but my actual consultation was the day before surgery. I was having a peri-areolar lift with augmentation, lipo-suction of my thighs, abs and flanks with a scar revision of my old c-section scar. Dr. Barnett spent 2 hours with me the night before my surgery. He stayed until 8 p.m. answering my every question. Surgery went well, all 5 hours of it. I was more sore than I thought possible, but was pleased with the results. My Dr. and his staff could not have been more kind and helpful. We got home and cell #s from the nurses in case we needed help. Dr. Barnett even does "house calls" to his out of state patient's hotel rooms for follow up care.

I had an uncomplicated recovery until the 4 month point. I was visiting a day spa and used the mud bath and mineral springs. A few days later, the bottom of my left breast became red. Then it got hard, hot and very painful. My Dr. was out of town. I followed up with my primary care Dr., locally. He started antibiotics and referred me to an insurance assigned plastic surgeon. I went then to an infectious disease specialist. I saw a Dr. every day I was not at work. I had 7 kinds of antibiotics in all. Finally, I went back to Utah at Dr. Barnett's urging. He told me he would need to remove the implant. My wedding was 5 weeks away. I was devastated. When I woke up, he told me that everything looked healthy behind the abscess and he left the implant in place. I had an open wound, but 2 boobs! I was very happy.

My elation was short lived. I changed dressings and seemed to heal well. Then 2 weeks before the big day, I began to drain….. lots. The local plastic surgeon said it was just necrotic fat, not infection and wanted to just "watch" it. I wore a nursing pad taped over my breast under my wedding gown. I sat in the shade and couldn't go in the water on my honeymoon (antibiotics and an open wound). But I still had 2 boobs.

The entire time, my Dr. from Utah continued to call and insisted the implant needed to be removed. He was so regretful he hadn't taken it out when he had the chance. After my wedding he became more insistent that I have it removed here or there. The local surgeon would not remove it. Finally after 4 months of antibiotics and draining, his worst fear became a reality. The infection had spread to the other side. The surgeon I had to see through my Ins. still thought we should wait and do more tests. She simply refused to be told how to practice. "If you want them out, go back to Utah." My left breast was becoming deformed. I got a 3rd opinion that agreed the implants were infected and should be removed.

I just returned from Utah, minus my implants. He said both pockets were full of pus. I am planning re-implantation in 4 months. That will be my 3rd surgery Dr. Barnett will do at no cost to me. He has been wonderful. My biggest concern is the damage done to my breasts while I waited and dealt with insurance. As far as the local Dr. knows, I am sitting home waiting for authorization for the MRI she ordered. She let me walk around infected for 4 months. Even though I know this is temporary, my body image is deeply affected. This is going to be a long 4 months.


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- Karen

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